Study: Postpartum depression doubles women's risk of developing life-threatening diseases Study: Postpartum depression doubles women's risk of developing life-threatening diseases

Study: Postpartum depression doubles women's risk of developing life-threatening diseases

Study: Postpartum depression doubles women's risk of developing life-threatening diseases

A recent study found that women who suffered from postpartum depression could double their risk of developing heart disease later in life.

The links between postpartum depression and long-term risk of cardiovascular disease are “largely unknown,” Swedish researchers said.

The study, published in the European Heart Journal, examined data on about 56,000 women who were diagnosed with perinatal depression (during pregnancy and after childbirth) between 2001 and 2014.

The information was matched to nearly 546,000 women who had children during the same time period and were not diagnosed with perinatal depression.

The study followed the women for an average of 10 years, with some of them monitored for up to 20 years after diagnosis.

The research team explained that about 6.4% of women who suffered from postpartum depression were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease during follow-up, compared to 3.7% of women who were not diagnosed with depression.

The researchers found that women who suffered from perinatal depression had a 36% increased risk of cardiovascular disease during the follow-up period.

Women who were diagnosed with depression before giving birth were 29% more likely to develop depression.

The results were "more pronounced" in women who did not suffer from depression before pregnancy, the researchers said.

Dr Emma Bran, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said: “Our findings may help identify who is at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease so that steps can be taken to reduce this risk. We know that perinatal depression is preventable and treatable.” "The results are all the more reason to ensure that maternity care is comprehensive, with equal attention to physical and mental health."

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